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The "101" Department: Shiny Happy Pooches

Tips on basic grooming for shelter dogs

Tips on basic grooming for shelter dogs

Focus your attention on the area where the teeth go into the gums, and angle the brush upward so that it gets at the base of the teeth. MICHELLE RILEY/THE HSUS
Dogs don’t care much how they look or smell. When dogs leave the house, they don’t put on makeup. When dogs encounter something stinky, they frequently want to play with it. And the less said about typical dog breath, the better.

But people do care, and for those dogs who are living in homes—or heading for new ones—a little spit and polish can go a long way to making them appeal to potential adopters. A well-groomed pooch grinning from an online adoption listing says, “Choose me; not only am I sweet, I’ll look great on your couch!” A grungy, matted stinkball says, “Move along. Nothing to see here.” What’s more, providing your adoptable dogs with a little polishing helps them get used to that kind of handling—their new owners will likely want to brush them now and then, and if they’re comfortable with it, it’ll make the process easier.

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